NEW YORK—In its push to better prepare developers for the emerging mobile-first world, Yahoo held its Mobile Developer Conference here, where the company announced new functionality in its mobile developer tools to an audience of more than 500.
This East Coast version of the conference follows Yahoo's inaugural event held last February in San Francisco and featured speakers, including Yahoo Chief Revenue Officer Lisa Utzschneider, Yahoo Senior Vice President of Publishing Products Simon Khalaf and Tumblr CEO David Karp. A number of partners and clients also took the stage to discuss how they use the Yahoo mobile platform.
Chief among the highlights of the event, Yahoo announced updates to the Yahoo Mobile Developer Suite for developers to analyze, advertise, monetize and enhance their apps and build their businesses as the industry evolves.
During his keynote, Khalaf announced Tumblr In-App Sharing—perhaps the biggest piece of news for developers. With this new capability, developers can let users share their creations with their Tumblr followers with one click. When a Tumblr user who doesn't have the app sees the post, the ability to download the app will be a seamless part of their experience. App developers will also be able to see engagement on content shared by their users, such as how many times it has been reblogged, clicked on or liked.
John Gronberg, Yahoo's product manager for in-app sharing, noted that there are 250 million blogs on Tumblr with 85 million posts a day. "Tumblr has been the source of many blog sensations," he said. "Tumblr is the best place to share creations from your app. Developers can share content in Tumblr, and no longer do users get hooked to a browser; they go right into your app."
Meanwhile, in an onstage fireside chat, Tumblr's David Karp joined Wilson Kriegel, chief business officer at PicsArt, which is Yahoo's exclusive launch partner for Tumblr In-App Sharing.
"We are thrilled to be using Tumblr In-App Sharing to allow our community to easily distribute their creative work made with PicsArt," said Kriegel. "Tumblr and PicsArt both attract creative people who love to make and share content. This integration will help users drive discovery through both communities."
Yahoo also introduced real-time metrics for its analytics. Updating automatically every 15 seconds, developers can have instant insight into real-time app activity for free through Flurry Analytics. Real-time Metrics will work at any scale, whether a developer has a hundred, a thousand or a billion users, Khalaf said in a blog post.
In addition, Yahoo announced Native Video Ads for Publishers. Yahoo can now help developers integrate an advertising solution into their app that is designed to increase monetization by combining native, the best performing ad format, with video, the best performing ad content, Khalaf said.
The day before the conference, Yahoo hosted its first Mobile Hackathon around the Yahoo Mobile Developer Suite. More than 200 hackers spent from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. finding creative hacks using Yahoo App Publishing, Tumblr API and Yahoo Search In-Apps. Winners will be announced at the end of the conference.
As Yahoo works to create tools and resources for developers, the company is also investing in the mobile and app ecosystem in a number of different ways. Today, Yahoo, as part of the company's efforts to support STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) learning in underrepresented communities, announced a partnership with Girls Who Code.
Yahoo has collaborated to design a curriculum based on APIs available through Yahoo's Developer Network, which will roll out to around 500 Girls Who Code clubs in September. Both Tumblr and Flickr will host student project demos in the spring.
Mobile developers can access the new tools or apply for available previews here.